Lazy Stuffed Cabbage

I love stuffed cabbage. It’s a Polish staple. I remember my mom boiling cabbage leaves, stuffing them with a meat and rice filling, and wrapping them in to cute squares. (I also remember her cursing a lot because she burned her fingers on the hot cabbage leaves.) It was a lot of work, which is why we didn’t eat it often.  My mother-in-law showed me the cheater’s way to have this dish. She wadded the filling into large meatballs, and cut the cabbage into wedges. The result had all the flavors and comfort of stuffed cabbage without all the work.

I’ve tried to make this dish a few times before, with less successful results. One time, the cabbage was underdone and still crunchy. Another time, the meatballs dried out. Still another time, there was not enough sauce. This time, I got it right.  The secret is to have large meatballs, and small chunks of cabbage.  An entire head of cabbage looks like a lot when it goes into the pan, but it cooks down a lot and won’t seem like too much once the dish is done.

original recipe

Lazy Stuffed Cabbage

Ingredients

1 1/4 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 c cooked rice
1 tsp dried oregano
1 ½ tsp dried dill, divided
Salt and pepper
1 large head green cabbage
3 cans condensed tomato soup

Instructions

  1. Mix the ground beef, rice, oregano, and ½ tsp of dill in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into palm-sized meatballs.
  2. Tear the first 6 leaves off the head of cabbage. Set aside. Cut the remaining head into 2-inch chunks, omitting the stem sections. Spread a little of the condensed tomato soup on the bottom of a 9x13” baking pan. Place the cabbage wedges in the pan. Scatter the meatballs on top of the cabbage. Pour the tomato soup over all the contents of the dish. Sprinkle remaining dill over the dish. Lay the reserved cabbage leaves on top, covering all the meatballs and cabbage wedges. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove pan from oven, carefully unwrap the foil and lift off the cabbage leaves. Place meatballs on a plate and cover to keep warm. Replace foil on top of baking pan and return cabbage to the oven. Bake until cabbage leaves are soft, another 30-45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve meatballs and cabbage together, spooning sauce over both.
http://kokocooks.com/2013/01/lazy-stuffed-cabbage/

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Arugula and Goat Cheese Pierogies


I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday! Did you spend time with friends and family? Did you get any cool cooking-related gifts? Did you eat too many cookies? My answer is “yes” to all those.


Every Christmas, we eat a big Polish dinner. This used to take place on Christmas Eve, but since Hubs and I are so busy on that day, we have moved the dinner to Christmas Day. I try to make a new filling each year, and this time I went with arugula and goat cheese. I’ve heard great things about these pierogies, and they didn’t disappoint. The pepperiness from the arugula blended well with the tangy goat cheese and sweetness from the onions.


adapted from The Veselka Cookbook
by Tom Birchard and Natalie Danford

Arugula and Goat Cheese Pierogies

Arugula and Goat Cheese Pierogies

These pierogies are best eaten fresh. The arugula loses its vibrancy and some of its flavor when reheated.

Ingredients

1 Tbs butter
¼ c chopped onion
5 oz arugula, chopped
8 oz. goat cheese
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper
Half a recipe for pierogi dough

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Place onions in a large bowl. Mix in the arugula, goat cheese, and cream cheese. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the pierogi dough according to the instructions. Cut out into rounds about 4” in diameter. Stuff rounds with about 2 Tbs of arugula filling. Lightly wet the edges of the rounds and pinch closed. Drop pierogies in boiling water and cook about 4-5 minutes. Drain and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/12/arugula-and-goat-cheese-pierogies/

 

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Pierogis

 

Normally, I reserve making pierogis for Christmas. Being from a Polish family, it is our traditional dinner on Christmas Eve – the wigilia, or “vigil.” However, when there is a two pound jar of sauerkraut staring at me from inside the fridge (taking up covetous space), I decided that April was a fine time for the tasty dumplings.
The dough for pierogis is easy to make, and is not at all tempermental. I use a fair amount of flour when rolling, perhaps because of the humidity of the climate. Once rolled out, the dough is pretty elastic, and will stretch over a generous amount of the filling, if handled carefully.
There are a few different ways to serve pierogis. I usually end up freezing them and eating them at a later date. When it’s time for reheating them, I layer the pierogis in a baking pan, and drizzle them with a little melted butter and caramelized onions. Then, I cover the pan and bake until heated through. The frozen pierogis end up steaming a bit while they bake, and come out just as pillowy soft as when they are fresh.

adapted from Polish Cooking
By Marianna Olszewska Heberle

Pierogis

Pierogis

Ingredients

4 c flour
2 eggs
5 Tbs sour cream
3 Tbs vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
¾ c water
Filling (recipe follows)
2 medium onions, diced
1 stick melted butter

Instructions

  1. Lightly flour 2 baking sheets. Sift flour into a large bowl or onto a flat working surface. Make a well in the center. Break eggs into the well. Add sour cream, oil and salt. Blend ingredients. Gradually add water, working and kneading mixture into a smooth, pliable dough. Divide dough into quarters. Cover 3 portions of the dough with a lightly damp cloth. On a floured surface, roll 1 portion of the dough to a thickness of 1/16th inch. Cut 3 ½ to 4-inch circles. Place rounded tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle. Fold dough over the filling and crimp edges closed. Place crimped pierogis on the baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough portions.
  2. Drop pierogis in boiling water in batches of 5-6. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Cook about 4 minutes, or until they float to the top. Drain in a colander.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/04/pierogis/

 

Cheese Filling

Ingredients

1 c cottage cheese
1 egg yolk
½ tsp salt
Pinch of ground white pepper

Instructions

  1. Strain cottage cheese through a cheese cloth to remove excess water. Combine strained cheese with the other ingredients.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/04/pierogis/

 

Sauerkraut Filling for Pierogis

Ingredients

1 Tbs butter
1 small onion, chopped
32 oz sauerkraut

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion until soft. Add sauerkraut and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/04/pierogis/

 

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